EFFECTS OF CYCLING SHORTS PADDING ON PERCEIVED DISCOMFORT AND SADDLE PRESSURE DISTRIBUTION AMONG FEMALE CYCLISTS IN LABORATORY CONDITIONS

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION:
Female cyclists often report genital discomfort and non-traumatic injuries (1) that can be reduced using an ergonomics approach (2). However, no studies have investigated the effects of using ergonomically designed cycling shorts pad among female cyclists. Our objective was to assess the differences in perceived discomfort and saddle pressure distribution as a function of cycling shorts pad design in females during ergometer cycling.
METHODS:
Two pad types were designed and produced; a traditional pad with padding at the ischial tuberosities and crotch area (full-pad) and a novel pad with padding exclusively at the ischial tuberosities (half-pad). Fourteen female club cyclists
were bike-fitted to ensure a uniform riding position. The cyclists pedaled on a cycle ergometer for one hour at a constant power output of 130 W and a target cadence of 80 (80±3 rpm) with two pad designs in blinded counterbalanced order over two separate sessions separated by at least 48 hours. Rate of perceived discomfort (RPD) over the ischial tuberosities and crotch area were determined using a visual analogue scale. The displacement of the center of pressure (COP) was measured in anterior-posterior and medial-lateral direction using a pressure mat. Standard deviation and sample entropy of the COP displacement were computed.
RESULTS:
Pad design had no effect on RPD at ischial tuberosities or crotch area as well as on the standard deviation and sample entropy of the COP displacement. Time had an increasing effect on RPD and on the standard deviation of the COP displacement in the anterior-posterior direction. Session had an increasing effect on RPD at the ischial tuberosities.
CONCLUSION:
The novel ergonomically designed cycling shorts half-pad did not result in changes in RPD and COP displacement as compared to the full-pad, among female cyclists. The effect of session suggests discomfort summation over the ischial tuberosities suggesting the crotch area to be less prone to discomfort adaption. Future tests in more ecologically conditions, e.g. during road cycling and for longer duration, are needed for a more comprehensive understanding of the topic.

1) Hermans et al., J Sex Med, 2016.
2) Larsen et al., Appl Ergon, 2018.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventAnnual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, ECSS - Prag, Czech Republic
Duration: 3 Jul 20196 Jul 2019

Conference

ConferenceAnnual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, ECSS
CountryCzech Republic
CityPrag
Period03/07/201906/07/2019

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Larsen, A., Hansen, E. A., & Madeleine, P. M. (2019). EFFECTS OF CYCLING SHORTS PADDING ON PERCEIVED DISCOMFORT AND SADDLE PRESSURE DISTRIBUTION AMONG FEMALE CYCLISTS IN LABORATORY CONDITIONS. 12578. Abstract from Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, ECSS, Prag, Czech Republic.